Mr. Hand, who wrote a post today about his favorite book and how it’s not really for reading but connects him to his forefathers, inspired me to take down my own favorite books today and consider why they are my favorites.

There are two of them and they weigh 15lbs each. One is Medicology and was published in 1903. The other is Health And Longevity and was published in 1914. They were both used to train doctors in their time, and contain wonderful illustrations of the body. In the illustrations you can flip back bones and organs to see what’s underneath them. They also still have certificates for a free medical exam attached in the back.

Unlike Mr. Hand’s book, mine never belonged to anyone in my family. I bought them at an estate sale about 20 years ago. Also I suppose his book would be useful if staring at computer screens suddenly started to make your eyes pop out of socket, but I wouldn’t suggest anyone take the medical advise in my books under any circumstance.

Like Mr. Hand’s they’re not really for reading, (although I have) but the study notes written in the margins are very interesting.

They’re my favorites all the same. Holding them I feel connected to something larger than myself, maybe because they trained the hands that healed, maybe because they where the beginning of modern medicine.

They weren’t based on the superstition and assumption of early medicine, but on observation, study, and science. Reading them not only gives one an idea of how for we’ve come, but what a firm foundation we’ve built on.

I can picture a student doctor holding one of them and it whispering, “I have so much to teach you.”